"Shallow Hal" is a film starring Jack Black
, Gwyneth Paltrow
, Jason Alexander
and Tony Robbins
. It's essentially a love story
with a humourous twist: Hal Larson (Jack Black
) falls in love with Rosemary Shanahan (Gwyneth Paltrow
). Gwynnie weighs about 300 pounds, but Hal sees her "inner beauty" and she appears to him as Gwyneth looks in real life.
Hal and his best friend, Mauricio (Jason Alexander) are both impossibly shallow. They judge women by appearance, and are (not surprisingly) particularly unlucky in the love department. This changes for Hal when he gets stuck in an elevator with Tony Robbins. Tony teaches Hal to see "inner beauty" in people, and he's reborn. This lasts most of the film, until Mauricio decides he can't stand to see his friend like that, and convinces Robbins to change him back. Confronted by how Rosemary actually looks, Hal is faced with a dilemma: Does he still love Rosemary now that he sees her as overweight?
It was interesting to me that people who were seen by Hal as beautiful were played by stunningly attractive women - in the conventional sense. When viewed by everybody else, they were either nondescript, our outright ugly. That means that the actors picked for those parts were fully aware that they were picked because they were considered unattractive.
I'd expected this film to be a long list of stupid fat jokes, but it's actually a lot more "sensible" than that. It's also not very funny, except for a couple of scenes (the swimming pool one in particular)
The film is more of a comment on society than a comedy, which surprised me a little - especially given that the list of other films by the directors includes Dumb And Dumber and There's Something About Mary.